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Hi all, I'm new. My name is Nicole and I'm from Saint John, NB, Canada. I don't have and rat-kids yet, but I'm hoping for some in the next month- 2 months. I've been lurking on this extremely helpful forum for about a week. . .and reading about things like bedding, housing, food, etc etc. I've also been to the local (and biggest) pet store in my area (Pet's Unlimited), and handled some of the rats last evening. . .they were very tame and I fell in love immediatley. . .they were so friendly! I've also found a rat-friendly vet in my area, picked out the cage I want: aSuper Pet Deluxe Critter Home (read elsewhere it was a good starter cage), and have looked at potential litter (Yesterday's News), toys, and food (Nutro Natural Lite with Donna D's formula or SueBee's formula with fresh fruits/veggies).

Now that I have all that figured out, there's some hurdles to overcome: I have a CAT, and I'm also going to be living in a very small apartment where the only sealable-off room is the bathroom. I know that I can't leave the rats and the cat alone unsupervised obviously, but I also know that the rats need time out of their cage. . .I thought that maybe ratty-playtime would have to be in the bathroom, a few hours in the day. And during the day when I wasn't home their cage could be kept in there, and then taken out in the main room when I was home and could supervise. . .could I introduce a year 1/2 old cat to baby ratties somehow (safely)? My goal would even have the rats not feel terrified while the cat was around. . .

Is this set-up viable do you think? Any comments, suggestions, advice, or opinions welcome!
 

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visit www.mooshika.org I believe they work out of your area as well as mine, they are a rescue, and have rats for adoption. Also props to you for educating yourself so well BEFORE getting any rats.

I don't have any problems with my 6 month old kittens, but if you feel it necessary you could put your rats in the bathroom while you're at work, Also, a bed or couch works wonders for free roaming, I just crumple up a throw blanket on top of my bed and watch my rats have a blast. I also use my bathroom as a free roaming area, but they're much more inclined to explore the bed.
 

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Oh please don't get from Pets Unlimited if you can avoid it... they treat their animals terrible and as much as we want to save all the animals, you can help by not supporting Pets Unlimited. I love my rats and wouldn't trade them, but from what I know now about P/U... plus if you get a girl, you may have the experience I did. Picasso had 15 babies 2 weeks after I bought her. It was a lot of stress and financial strain having them and finding them homes (I still have 6 of her babies, plus her and her sister), and if I had taken then back to the store they would have been fed to snakes. There are many many rats in need of homes from rescues. One I know of in New Brunswick not too far from SJ is Angel's Heart Rat Rescue, contact Clark Graham: 506-855-8813, [email protected]. I know at one point he had about 50 rats in need of homes. He may know of rescues in SJ too.
 

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Oh, btw, I've never had problems with my old roomates cats around the rats or my foster cats now around them, when their in the cage. As for ratty playtime, I put the cats in the bathroom.
 

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Sorry to multi post, just wanted to let you know you should check out the size of the cage and input it into a cage calculator to determine how many rats it can house. Another good place to get cages is Martins. http://martinscages.com/ I have one of theirs and my ratties just love it.

Also, sorry if I sound preachy, I'm not trying to. I just know I didn't know alot about rats when I started out, and cuz of the babies I was forced to learn real fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your replies. . .esp. about the cat issue because it was going to be a bummer if I couldn't work it out.

The P/U issue: I never actually planned to get my rats from a petstore unless absolutely necessary. I actually saw an add on kijiji.ca for 2 male baby rats I was interested in, but the poster has yet to reply. The P/U rats are handled frequently it seems but I wasn't impressed with their living conditions, small tanks with no toys, dirty, and what looked like hamster food for a diet. I actually got Clark Graham's card from a P/U employee (BTW the girl who helped me out was very knowlegable and seemed to care about the rats, I held 2 and they were perfectly tame). . .however Clark's rat rescue is in Moncton, and I don't have a car of my own to get there (the bus wouldn't allow animals). And I would prefer a baby to an adult rat for my first one. . .maybe I'll give him a call.

Cage: According to the calculator, and from the measurments from my memory, this cage can hold 2 rats if the space is used wisely. Since that's all I want anyway, I'll get this I think and upgrade if necessary. The biggest selling point on it for me was the bar spacing, I'm not really interested in putting wirecloth over the bars if I can help it, nor worrying about the possibilty of my potential furkids getting out. I also liked that it was tall, relatively cheap, had bars, and tall so they could climb. It also has room for customization which I like. I did see a FN at P/U that I'd like to get in the future if having rats as pets is something I will keep doing. . .but I think this cage had adequate spacing for now, coupled with lots of playtime outside the cage. I should be all right. I can def. see myself getting a FN in the future though, when I graduate University next year and don't live in a bachelor apt. . .

Thanks everyone, this is a lovely forum!
 

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EDIT: When I say I want a baby for my first rat: I mean I want a same sex PAIR, just to clarify.

OH, and they will also be getting neutered.
 

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EDIT #2 lol: I actually really liked the look of Martin's cages. . .what was the shipping like to Canada for you?
 

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EDIT#3: BTW, any second hand shop like Frenchy's, Value-Village, etc. make EXCELLENT places to buy things for ratty cages. . . I've started buying stuff already!
 

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I actually didn't buy my cage on the site, I bought it second hand from a friend. I have the rat skyscraper, and I modified it to make it big enough for my large family (by zip tying a smaller second cage near one of the small doors). Sorry I can't help with the shipping thing!

The dollar store also makes a great place for rat things. Examples. Dishclothes make great hammocks, shower hooks make great hammock hangers (If you want I can send you pics). Fleece blankets and dollarama also great. Drawer organizers = litter boxes. Other style drawer organizers = beds. Like I said, if you want I'll send you pics of my set up. My bf will be here this weekend with his camera.
 

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Please look into getting a larger cage. Even if it is just two rats, that seems too small. They love to climb. The bigger the better! =3 And the price seems outrageous. I built a pvc cage for around $40 and it is large enough to hold 8 rats "if space is used wisely". This is going to be for my three boys. But please, get a larger cage.
 

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niki_m787 said:
Cage: According to the calculator, and from the measurments from my memory, this cage can hold 2 rats if the space is used wisely. Since that's all I want anyway, I'll get this I think and upgrade if necessary. The biggest selling point on it for me was the bar spacing, I'm not really interested in putting wirecloth over the bars if I can help it, nor worrying about the possibilty of my potential furkids getting out. I also liked that it was tall, relatively cheap, had bars, and tall so they could climb. It also has room for customization which I like. I did see a FN at P/U that I'd like to get in the future if having rats as pets is something I will keep doing. . .but I think this cage had adequate spacing for now, coupled with lots of playtime outside the cage. I should be all right. I can def. see myself getting a FN in the future though, when I graduate University next year and don't live in a bachelor apt. . .
I have this cage and keep one small female rat in it. Yes, I think it is a decently sized cage for two female rats, but I would never dream of keeping more than one male in it. It's rather narrow, especially for those big boys. I do really like this cage though, and I think it's the best narrow barred rat cage you can buy at petsmart (not including bird cages, which would probably be way overpriced). It is easy for me to work with and clean. Plus the two doors do provide decent access (but oh how I long for bigger doors!). Some people complain about the shelves, but my cage took a hard fall and everything is looser now. On that note, I did have a cat knock this cage over, my rat inside. It has a dent in one side now. Luckily my girl did survive and was uninjured, but I do have to watch one of our many cats closely and keep him out of my room. We have 9 cats and only one bothers her, so chances are your cat will be fine.

So good luck, and if you have any questions about this cage feel free to ask me!
 

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Hi Folks!

Thanks for all the great replies! I have since gotten my Fawn/Beige (how do you tell?) hooded boys (about 8 weeks old) a week ago, and had them housed in a Super Pet My 1st Home Deluxe up until tonight for that week.

I have since found a modified flight cage on Kijiji with some modifications: There's a bottom metal tray and all of the levels are enclosed, as well as the whole back of the cage. I really like this feature because I have a cat and I feel now the boys are a bit more protected from her. The cage has the exact dimensions of an Martin's R-695. So my babies have plenty of room!

Aren't you all so PROUD of me lol.

PS: How do you post pics from your hardrive?

Thanks!
 

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Congratulations on your first boys :) One thing you may want to look into, if you ever intend to get more than 2, is getting babies from a rescue. Rescues often get unwanted litters or pregnant rats. It's one of the most common things they get it seems. We've had two here.

Many of us just started out with one or two and then it blooms into many lol So always be on the look out for good cages. I only have 7 rats here now (all are residents, not rescues), and I still have a ton of spare cages lol Just in case.
 

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I've only had rats since April, and I already have 4 cages ^^;

I'm not an expert on rat colors, but I think fawns are more orangey - there's a sticky up top about rat colors with good links you could look at :D
 
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